It was raining the next morning, that nasty annoying drizzle. I decided to hold off on going to work early, because Dawn had already claimed the jeep and riding in the rain is not much fun. While I waited I figured I'd do my work-out or what I could at least. One of the things that's sucky about moving, was that most of my training gear was still in boxes. I had managed to find and unpack one mat for my calisthenics and my wooden man, so that would have to do.
I was set up in the dining room as the basement was too box crazy, and was working through kenpo routines on the wooden man when there was a knock at the front door.
"It's open!" I called out, and downshifted to human level speed from Slayer level. I looked up and saw Nick come in.
"Hey Nick! What are you doing here?" I stopped pounding and wiped my face with my towel.
"My fiancée Julietet and I, live a block down the street," he pointed. "I saw your address on some of the paperwork."
"Oh cool! You want some coffee? Don't worry," I laughed, "my sister made it."
"Where is she?"
"At work, she had to sign for some cadavers for one of her labs."
Nick did a little double-take at that, and I laughed again. "Go get coffee, I have to shower."
"Yes ma'am," he said with a grin.
Fifteen minutes later I was drying my hair and dressed. Rushing down the stairs I saw Nick looking at the photos on our fireplace mantle while sipping from a Cleveland Police mug.
"My extended family, all no relation..." I said.
"Lots of girls."
"Yeah well, before I became a cop, I was a high school guidance counselor then a school administrator. My last job was at a private all-girls school."
"Oh god..." I could see the look of terror on Nick's face as that sunk in.
"Oh god is right," I smiled. "So why are you here?"
"Well, like I said I live a block away, and I saw you rode to work yesterday," he gestured at the rain and wet streets. "I wasn't sure if you had a car or not. If not, I was going offer you a ride."
"We do, but Dawn snagged it first, and I will gladly accept a ride. Could you hang on a second?"
He nodded. I ran down into the basement and got my Glock out of the safe. I really had to find where I had packed my small bedside secure box. I came back upstairs and saw him now looking at the wooden man.
"A bunch actually. With my size, I've always had to rely on speed and skill over strength to protect myself from creeps. Today was a kenpo day," I slid a magazine into my pistol and holstered it. I was wearing a pair of red leather pants and one of my sleeveless black turtlenecks and my black three-quarters length leather jacket. These felt a lot more comfortable than the suit I wore yesterday and bonus; the jacket had the hidden pockets for extra stuff.
Nick spun the wooden man, "That's actually pretty cool. How good are you?"
"Good enough to teach to an advanced level," I said proudly, "You looking to spar?"
"Oh no! My fiancée though. She wants to learn how to protect herself."
"That's doable. Give Dawn and I a chance to fix up the basement gym and I'll be glad to teach her."
Nick smiled. He has a nice smile, "So, you ready?"
"Sure!" we went outside and I locked up, including arming the wards. Soon we were driving downtown.
"So," I asked, "What's Juliette do?"
"She's a vet."
"Awww. That's nice," helping poor animals is always good.
"Yeah," he smiled again, "She loves it and she's good at it. How long have you been on the job?"
"Started as a uni' in '04, made Detective in '07. You?"
"I started in '03 and made Detective in '07 also."
I grinned, "Oh great senior pass on your wisdom to your humble pupil..." I intoned "Tell me what the hot-spots in Portland are..." More seriously I continued, "Sergeant Wu mentioned there was an uptick in the weird..." I trailed off.
Nick stiffened slightly. If I hadn't been looking for it, I wouldn't have noticed it because he relaxed almost instantly, "What do you mean?"
"Not sure. The Captain mentioned my exposure to the weird when he was chatting with me too. Spontaneous combustion, cult activity; It was like Cleveland had become a magnet for oddness. Now I'm out here...Is it my breath?" I breathed into my hand.
Nick laughed at that, "I don't think so. Portland has always been a little odd. I'm from upstate New York originally and that's pretty weird too."
"I've been there," stupid extra-violent loup-garou, "I'd agree."
We pulled in next to Hank's Mustang and headed inside.
"Summers!" Captain Renard called me over, "There's a problem."
"What did I do?"
"You nothing. Ex-Detective and current lottery winner Steve Cotter quit afetr drawing the extra ball last night. Ten million dollar prize. That means the detective I was going to partner you with is not here any more. We have another new man coming in, but that would mean two Portland rookies partnered. You're both experienced investigators which is the only reason I'm considering it."
"Yes, oh. Are you up for it? You can always call on any of us for help of course."
"Sure, when do I meet him?"
"He'll be in later today, his name's Jim Ellison and he's a transfer from Cascade Washington."
Jim Ellison Property of UPN